I just stumbled upon an issue that I can't explain myself. So hopefully you guys out there can!

I combined a few enchantment books and in the end got 4 books:

Effiency V

Unbreaking III

Silk touch

Mending

Then combined all of them one after the other with a pickaxe (in the order shown above). All in all I invested somewhere around 30 exp level.

A few days later I wanted to create a fortune pickaxe as well. Again worked with enchanted books, got these final 4:

Efficiency V

Unbreaking III

Fortune III

Mending

But this time, when I tried to enchant the new diamond pickaxe, the cost for efficiency V already was at 31 exp level. Trying to put at least unbreaking III on as well, already makes it too expensive.

Why is it so? Where's my mistake? I don't think it is meant to not have two good pickaxes, right? If any of you know a solution to my problem, please help. I'm currently a bit downhearted.

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I would say you're experiencing the prior work penalty https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Anvil_mechanics#Prior_Work_penalty and having an issue with the number and method you used to combine books. For instance putting an efficiency 5 book on a brand new pick costs 5 exp levels BUT if you combine 16 efficiency 1 books to make an efficiency 5 book, THAT book would cost 20 exp levels to put on a brand new pick. I'm not sure what you're doing what caused an efficiency 5 book to cost 31 levels to apply as the first enchant unless another enchant is applying as well and/or you aren't a pickaxe that has been repaired before.

I would say you're experiencing the prior work penalty https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Anvil_mechanics#Prior_Work_penalty and having an issue with the number and method you used to combine books. For instance putting an efficiency 5 book on a brand new pick costs 5 exp levels BUT if you combine 16 efficiency 1 books to make an efficiency 5 book, THAT book would cost 20 exp levels to put on a brand new pick. I'm not sure what you're doing what caused an efficiency 5 book to cost 31 levels to apply as the first enchant unless another enchant is applying as well and/or you aren't a pickaxe that has been repaired before.

It can't be 'prior work penalty' as the pickaxe was brand new, crafted right before enchanting it. However, the books give a little more hint, as I indeed started from efficiency 1 books (I have villagers for pretty much all I need but efficiency and fortune). Higher efficiency books from the enchantment table all had a second enchantment I wasn't interested in. Only the eff 1 books were created with just that enchantment. So there's at least 20 exp levels from that. Also, the anvil used was the same, close to its death by that time. Does the state of the anvil also count in? As I said it was a new freshly crafted pickaxe.

Could you have made a mistake at some point and wasted an anvil operation by, say, combining an Eff III book with an Eff II book?

That would have increased the prior work penalty since you would have then had to redo the combination with an Eff III book.

(Unless you discarded the "contaminated" Eff III and made a new one.)

Even if you had got your Eff V pickaxe for 20 XP levels you would only have been able to add one more book before it became too expensive.

Though combining the remaining books before adding the combined book to the pickaxe might have worked if the other books weren't also pieced together from level I books.

You really should go for higher level enchantments.

Even if they were combined with unnecessary enchantments, as long as they aren't ones you absolutely don't want, like Flame Aspect on a sword or Silk Touch when you want to add Fortune, though even that would work if you add the Fortune first.

Sure when combining the books the unnecessary enchantments would increase the cost but the prior work penalty increases exponentially with each anvil operation.

And enchanting the pickaxe on the enchanting table would also have saved you some anvil operations.

And, no, the state of the anvil has no effect on the cost.

--

Actually, assuming the other books weren't pieced together from level I books then, if the Eff V book hadn't for some reason been more expensive then it should have been, adding it last would probably have worked since the prior work penalty is affected by the book or tool that has the highest prior work penalty so changing what is combined with what can change the final cost.

Actually, assuming the other books weren't pieced together from level I books then, if the Eff V book hadn't for some reason been more expensive then it should have been, adding it last would probably have worked since the prior work penalty is affected by the book or tool that has the highest prior work penalty so changing what is combined with what can change the final cost.

Does this paragraph mean, it is generally better to put on the cheaper enchantments first? I always thought it would be better the other way round.

Also, I added a screenshot, so that you can see I'm not making it up

Does this paragraph mean, it is generally better to put on the cheaper enchantments first? I always thought it would be better the other way round.

No, it means you want to keep the prior work penalty as balanced as possible.

Think of it as building a pyramid, start with the pickaxe and the original uncombined books at ground level.

When you combine 2 things the combined thing is one level higher then the highest of the 2 things that went into it.

And you want to keep the pyramid as low as possible because the prior work penalty on each level is double the previous plus one.

For instance the original Eff I books had a PWP of 0, the Eff II books should have PWP=1, Eff III PWP=3, EFF IV PWP=7 and the EFF V should have had a PWP=15 (the cost of combining them is higher because you also pay for the enchantments to be combined as well as the PWP.)

Adding that to a pickaxe gives it a PWP=31 as long as the PWP of the pickaxe isn't higher than 15 and adding another book brings the PWP up to 63 which is Too Expensive so no further combining can be done.

However, assuming the other books were pristine with a PWP=0, just to keep things simple, adding the other books to the pickaxe first would have given the pickaxe a PWP=7 (1 after the 1:st book, 3 after the second and 7 after the 3:rd), then adding the Eff V (with PWP=15) would bring the PWP up to 31 and it could still have something else added to it. (or an emergency repair on the anvil.)

--

This also means that when repairing stuff (if you don't have Mending on it) you should never repair it one diamond at a time because the PWP goes up every time, instead you should wear things down as far as you consider safe and do a full repair with 3 or 4 diamonds.

Again: Thank you so much! I've learned more from these few posts than I ever did from reading the wiki! I see know that I didn't really understand PWP, as I obviously only thought of it regarding tools/weapons/armour, but totally forgot that books of course also are affected!

You answered all of my questions from the first post, and in a way that I got it now!

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Hi,

I just stumbled upon an issue that I can't explain myself. So hopefully you guys out there can!

I combined a few enchantment books and in the end got 4 books:

Effiency V

Unbreaking III

Silk touch

Mending

Then combined all of them one after the other with a pickaxe (in the order shown above). All in all I invested somewhere around 30 exp level.

A few days later I wanted to create a fortune pickaxe as well. Again worked with enchanted books, got these final 4:

Efficiency V

Unbreaking III

Fortune III

Mending

But this time, when I tried to enchant the new diamond pickaxe, the cost for efficiency V already was at 31 exp level. Trying to put at least unbreaking III on as well, already makes it too expensive.

Why is it so? Where's my mistake? I don't think it is meant to not have two good pickaxes, right? If any of you know a solution to my problem, please help. I'm currently a bit downhearted.

I would say you're experiencing the prior work penalty https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Anvil_mechanics#Prior_Work_penalty and having an issue with the number and method you used to combine books. For instance putting an efficiency 5 book on a brand new pick costs 5 exp levels BUT if you combine 16 efficiency 1 books to make an efficiency 5 book, THAT book would cost 20 exp levels to put on a brand new pick. I'm not sure what you're doing what caused an efficiency 5 book to cost 31 levels to apply as the first enchant unless another enchant is applying as well and/or you aren't a pickaxe that has been repaired before.

It can't be 'prior work penalty' as the pickaxe was brand new, crafted right before enchanting it. However, the books give a little more hint, as I indeed started from efficiency 1 books (I have villagers for pretty much all I need but efficiency and fortune). Higher efficiency books from the enchantment table all had a second enchantment I wasn't interested in. Only the eff 1 books were created with just that enchantment. So there's at least 20 exp levels from that. Also, the anvil used was the same, close to its death by that time. Does the state of the anvil also count in? As I said it was a new freshly crafted pickaxe.

Could you have made a mistake at some point and wasted an anvil operation by, say, combining an Eff III book with an Eff II book?

That would have increased the prior work penalty since you would have then had to redo the combination with an Eff III book.

(Unless you discarded the "contaminated" Eff III and made a new one.)

Even if you had got your Eff V pickaxe for 20 XP levels you would only have been able to add one more book before it became too expensive.

Though combining the remaining books before adding the combined book to the pickaxe might have worked if the other books weren't also pieced together from level I books.

You really should go for higher level enchantments.

Even if they were combined with unnecessary enchantments, as long as they aren't ones you absolutely don't want, like Flame Aspect on a sword or Silk Touch when you want to add Fortune, though even that would work if you add the Fortune first.

Sure when combining the books the unnecessary enchantments would increase the cost but the prior work penalty increases exponentially with each anvil operation.

And enchanting the pickaxe on the enchanting table would also have saved you some anvil operations.

And, no, the state of the anvil has no effect on the cost.

--

Actually, assuming the other books weren't pieced together from level I books then, if the Eff V book hadn't for some reason been more expensive then it should have been, adding it last would probably have worked since the prior work penalty is affected by the book or tool that has the highest prior work penalty so changing what is combined with what can change the final cost.

Just testing.

Thank you very much!

I'm not sure tbh, there may have been some derping that I can't recall. And all the tips are valuable to me! I will follow them and try it that way.

Does this paragraph mean, it is generally better to put on the cheaper enchantments first? I always thought it would be better the other way round.

Also, I added a screenshot, so that you can see I'm not making it up

No, it means you want to keep the prior work penalty as balanced as possible.

Think of it as building a pyramid, start with the pickaxe and the original uncombined books at ground level.

When you combine 2 things the combined thing is one level higher then the highest of the 2 things that went into it.

And you want to keep the pyramid as low as possible because the prior work penalty on each level is double the previous plus one.

For instance the original Eff I books had a PWP of 0, the Eff II books should have PWP=1, Eff III PWP=3, EFF IV PWP=7 and the EFF V should have had a PWP=15 (the cost of combining them is higher because you also pay for the enchantments to be combined as well as the PWP.)

Adding that to a pickaxe gives it a PWP=31 as long as the PWP of the pickaxe isn't higher than 15 and adding another book brings the PWP up to 63 which is Too Expensive so no further combining can be done.

However, assuming the other books were pristine with a PWP=0, just to keep things simple, adding the other books to the pickaxe first would have given the pickaxe a PWP=7 (1 after the 1:st book, 3 after the second and 7 after the 3:rd), then adding the Eff V (with PWP=15) would bring the PWP up to 31 and it could still have something else added to it. (or an emergency repair on the anvil.)

--

This also means that when repairing stuff (if you don't have Mending on it) you should never repair it one diamond at a time because the PWP goes up every time, instead you should wear things down as far as you consider safe and do a full repair with 3 or 4 diamonds.

Just testing.

Again: Thank you so much! I've learned more from these few posts than I ever did from reading the wiki! I see know that I didn't really understand PWP, as I obviously only thought of it regarding tools/weapons/armour, but totally forgot that books of course also are affected!

You answered all of my questions from the first post, and in a way that I got it now!